Calling All Entrepreneurs: Delta I-Fund Seeking Entrepreneurs to Build Start-ups

January 17, 2019 Comments Off on Calling All Entrepreneurs: Delta I-Fund Seeking Entrepreneurs to Build Start-ups

The Delta I-Fund is seeking entrepreneurs to participate in a 12-week virtual course that will help launch start-up companies in our region. The I-Fund will match entrepreneurs with a mentor, and the organization will provide funding for your team’s proof of concept. The cohort begins March 9 and you can sign up now to participate in the program, which is modeled after the National Science Foundation’s successful I-Corp program.

The I-Fund program will teach participating entrepreneurs about Lean Start-up methodology, including how to document a business model and how to improve your business by seeking customer input. DRA supports the I-Fund mission of improving low-to-moderate income communities throughout our eight-state region. The program seeks to provide a platform for the creation and launch of high-growth companies, spurring economic development and job creation in the region. For more information, visit


SCPDC Contact Person: Stephanie Brüning



The Terrebonne Port Commission officially opened the Rome Woodward Street improvements with Parish President Gordy Dove, Councilman Al Marmande and Executive Director David Rabelais. The project is located on Main Port Court off of Industrial Boulevard.

Port Commission members, Parish Council, representatives from T. Baker Smith (Engineering) and South Central Planning and Development Commission (Grant Administration) were present for the official dedication. The $425,706.00 project was a funding partnership between U.S Economic Development Agency (EDA) and the Port with $312,320 from EDA and $113,386.00 in port funds.

The 800-foot infrastructure project, completed by Byron E. Talbot Contractor, Inc., included a 10-inch 24-foot-wide industrial class concrete pavement with 10-foot-wide aggregate shoulders and the addition of associated drainage pipe and catch basins.  The extension finished the work started in January 2014 and provides improved access to the Port property allowing for an additional 52 acres of the property to be developed with Port related tenants.

Aligning with many of EDA’s funding priorities, the Rome Woodward Street extension embodies public/private partnerships, national strategic priorities and global competitiveness. Terrebonne Port Commission’s 680-acre site located near LA Highway 57, the Houma-Terrebonne Airport, the Houma Navigation Canal and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway puts it in a strategic position for future economic growth and benefits to the region. For more information about the Terrebonne Port Commission please go to

From Left to Right: Stephanie Brüning (SCPDC); Philip Chauvin (T.B. Smith); Amber Plessala (T. B. Smith), David Rabalais (Port Executive Director), Al Marmande (Parish Councilman), Eddie Rome (Port Commissioner), Andrew Blanchard (Port Commissioner), Dan Davis (Port Commissioner), Gordy Dove (Parish President), Pat Gordon (SCPDC)

SCPDC Awarded an LED Workforce Development Grant in Partnership with St. James Works to support “St. James Parish Construction Academy”

March 22, 2018 Comments Off on SCPDC Awarded an LED Workforce Development Grant in Partnership with St. James Works to support “St. James Parish Construction Academy”

South Central Planning and Development Commission in partnership with St. James Works received a grant funded under LED Workforce Development/Capacity Building Grant Program. This pilot program–the St. James Parish Construction Academy will allow local veterans, unemployed, and other under-employed residents the opportunity to:

1. Access remedial education including receipt of HiSET certification and then proceed through the ACT WorkKeys Curriculum consisting of computer-based learning and testing,
2. Achieve the National Career Ready Certificate (NCRC),
3. Receive construction-specific training with the assistance of the Associated Builders and Contractors’ regional chapter, and
4. Achieve nationally-accepted certification through completion of the Core and Level I curriculum of the National Center for Construction Education and Research (see

SJ Works Newsletter I 2

Work Ready Brochure Final 01.26.18

Find out more about St. James Work Ready Community Initiative

EDA: $17 Million Available to Spur Regional Innovation

May 10, 2017 Comments Off on EDA: $17 Million Available to Spur Regional Innovation

$17 Million Available to Spur Regional Innovation

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) today published the Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for its 2017 Regional Innovations Strategies (RIS) program. The application period will close June 23, 2017.

The $17 million being made available through the RIS NOFA will help to spur innovation capacity-building activities in regions across the nation. Under this competition, EDA is seeking applications for two separate funding opportunities: the i6 Challenge and the Seed Fund Support (SFS) Grant competition.

  •  i6 Challenge ($13M): Across the country, regions and communities are helping entrepreneurs overcome challenging barriers to help build new companies and create jobs through the efforts of universities, National Labs, state and local governments, incubators, and various other organizations. The i6 Challenge helps drive these efforts by supporting the creation and expansion of programs that increase the rate at which innovations, ideas, intellectual property, and research are translated into products, services, viable companies, and, ultimately, jobs.
  • Seed Fund Support (SFS) Grant Competition ($4M): The availability of funding for early-stage companies is an essential element of a healthy innovation-based regional ecosystem. Taking an idea or innovation from conception to market often requires capital, but in many regions across the country, innovators and entrepreneurs struggle to find that capital. SFS grants provide funding for technical assistance and operational costs that support the planning, formation, launch, or scale of cluster-based seed funds that will invest their capital in innovation-based startups with a potential for high growth.

Prospective applicants are encouraged to refer to the Notice of Funding Availability on for more details on both the i6 Challenge and Seed Fund Support grants, including eligibility, matching-fund requirements, application and submission deadlines, and other information. Funding for both programs is available to all communities regardless of level of distress.

EDA’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship leads the RIS program to spur innovation capacity-building activities in regions across the nation.

In collaboration with SSTI, OIE will present an informational webinar on May 22, 2017, at 3:00pm ET.  Register now!




NEWS: LSU – Industrial Innovation Center

March 30, 2017 Comments Off on NEWS: LSU – Industrial Innovation Center

LSU-Industrial Innovation Center (LSU-IIC) – An innovation thinktank, comprised of LSU experts in key engineering disciplines to assist plant operators, industrial contractors and workforce training. LSU-IIC one-pager_1_18_2017

Parishes covered: Lafourche, St. Charles, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Mary, Terrebonne

For more information, please contact Pat Gordon ( or Stephanie Brüning ( or 985-851-2900.

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